Single-Hung vs. Double-Hung Windows – Key Differences

Jan 5, 2023Windows

If you are looking to replace your current windows you may have come across single- and double-hung windows. At first glance, it can be challenging to distinguish single-hung vs. double-hung windows. While single-hung and double-hung windows may look identical from a distance, there are a number of significant differences that separate the two when you’re up close. Here, we will dive into these differences so you can understand which type of window is best for your home.

Single-Hung and Double-Hung Windows

Before understanding the differences between single- and double-hung windows, you need to understand what they are.

Both single- and double-hung windows are vertically sliding windows. These windows feature an upper and a lower sash. A “sash” is the square or rectangular frame that holds the window glass as well as any other smaller details that divide the glass. This gives a window pane appearance.

Single-hung windows have been around longer than double-hung windows and require less effort to clean because they only have one moving pane of glass. We’ll get more into these details later on, but for now, let’s move on to the differences between these two types of windows.

Key Differences of Single-Hung vs. Double-Hung Windows


The main difference between these two window types is how they operate. There are many different types of windows — such as picture windows, sliding windows, skylights, awning windows, and single- and double-hung windows.

A single-hung window only has one movable sash. This is because the top sash of the window is fixed in place, and the bottom sash is operable.However, both sashes can move on a double-hung window.

Ventilation and Air Circulation

Both single- and double-hung windows allow for lovely ventilation in your home. However, double-hung windows are the best choice if you are looking for optimal airflow. This is because, unlike single-hung windows, double-hung windows allow you to open both the top and bottom sashes. As a result, cool air can flow into your home through the bottom, while warmer air flows out of your home through the top.

Energy Efficiency

If you are concerned about the overall energy efficiency of your home, you may be wondering which of these two window options is best. Realistically, the level of energy efficiency that your windows offer will depend on the quality of the materials and the skill of your window installer.

But, even if you are using the highest quality window materials and the most experienced installers, a single-hung window will generally come out on top as the most efficient when it comes to energy savings. This is because a single-hung window only has one operating sash, making it much easier to seal and lock when it is not opened. Remember, though, that even a single-hung window will not be very energy efficient if the materials you use are not suitable. This is the reason it’s important to make sure you are opting for quality materials and replacement services when you are putting in new windows.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Cleaning your windows from the inside of your home is easy for both single- and double-hung windows. But double-hung windows are so much easier when it comes to cleaning the outside of your windows. Unlike single-hung windows, double-hung windows have tilt-latches that allow you to tilt the window sash and clean the entire exterior of the window from the interior of your home. On the other hand, single-hung windows will require you to clean the unmoving window sash from the outside of your home.


While both single- and double-hung windows can come in a variety of sizes, in general, double-hung windows can come in larger sizes than single-hung windows. Compared to smaller windows, bigger windows allow for more natural light in your home and better ventilation. So if you are looking for larger windows in your home, double-hung windows may be the better option for you.


Another difference between single-hung and double-hung windows is the price. In general, double-hung windows are more expensive than single-hung windows. This said, there can be certain situations where single-hung windows are just as or more costly than double-hung windows.

Which Is Better?

As you can see by the points made above, both single- and double-hung windows are excellent options for your home. However, realistically, the “better” choice for your home will depend on what you are looking for.

For example, if you have young children or pets, you may want to consider double-hung windows as they are safer in this regard because they can open at the top rather than the bottom. Conversely, if you are looking for a more affordable or more energy-efficient style of window for your home, a single-hung window might be the better choice for you.

You may also want to consider factors such as your climate, geographic location, and where the windows are located in your home. We recommend contacting one of our experienced window installers at Volpe Enterprises, Inc. to help you determine which options are best for you.


As mentioned throughout this article, both single- and double-hung windows have their own advantages and disadvantages. Maybe after reading this article, you’ve realized that you’d rather have a completely different type of window — such as an awning window or sliding window. But, on the other hand, perhaps you’re still unsure whether a single- or double-hung window would be best for your home.

Finding the right window for your home can be challenging, but you do not have to decide on your own. Schedule an appointment today with one of our knowledgeable Project Consultants to decide what window option is best for your home.

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